Learn more about IRW’s staff!
Jan Coates, Executive Director
As founding Executive Director, Jan provides leadership and oversight to all things IRW. She is currently focusing on organizational planning and design, staff development, constituent engagement, and fund-raising.
Prior to founding IRW in 2006, Jan was a senior administrator/Dean at Albion College in Michigan and Hamilton College in New York, then owner and manager of Port In A Storm Bookstore in Somesville, ME.
Jan holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and currently serves on the Rudman Library Trust Grant Committee of the Maine Community Foundation and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve. She resides in Hall Quarry on Mount Desert Island.
Book jacket: “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” by Crockett Johnson
Alison Johnson, Director of School Programs
Alison oversees all aspects of IRW’s school programs, including planning author/ illustrator visits, recruiting new authors and collaborating with our school partners to determine which of our programs best suit their students’.
She began her nonprofit work as director of the summer arts festival for Schoodic Arts for All and has served on several area nonprofit boards including the Schoodic Community Fund and, currently, the Dorcas Library board and RSU24 school board.
Alison is currently enrolled in the Voluntary Public Librarian Certification Program. She and her family reside in Birch Harbor, ME.
Book jacket: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rowling
Beverly organizes and helps other staff with “behind the scenes” communication, paperwork and data entry. She is usually the first voice you hear if you call the office in Southwest Harbor.
Previous to joining IRW, Beverly was a self-employed glass artist, working at home and creating tiny glass pieces out of molten glass. From 2002-2016, she traveled the mid-Atlantic and New England, doing several shows a year, selling mostly to fiber enthusiasts. Presently, you can find her art at island galleries and select knitting shops and on her website. Beverly returned to college in 2011 as a very non-traditional student to complete a B.A. in liberal studies, a minor in cartography and a certificate in GIS. She graduated in 2017.
Beverly lives in Franklin with her husband.
Book jacket: “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams
Taylor Mace, Community Engagement Coordinator
Taylor works to promote IRW’s message via its website, social media and regional media outlets. She also oversees IRW’s rich volunteer program, develops community-wide events, assists the Executive Director in developing a robust stewardship program to support IRW’s mission and serves as clerk for the Board of Directors.
Originally from Dallas, Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Orleans and her Master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She covered politics and popular culture for local and national publications in Boston and Washington, D.C., before moving to Mount Desert Island, where she covered local news and features for The Ellsworth American, and maintained the sports and maritimes beats at the Mount Desert Islander before joining IRW in 2017.
Taylor resides in Bass Harbor with her family.
Book jacket: “The Story of Ferdinand,” by Munro Leaf